FILE - Wisconsin Supreme Court

The Wisconsin Supreme Court room at the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. (Royalbroil | Wikimedia via Creative Commons)

The next battle for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is just months away and voters are getting a better sense of who will be on the ballot. 

Conservative Justice Daniel Kelly on Tuesday told Jay Weber on WISN that he will run for a full 10-year term next year. 

"As I've gone around the state for the past three years, listening to what people expect from their court members, I heard two consistent themes," Kelly said. "They expect us to be faithful to the constitution. The constitution as it is, not as they wish it to be. And they expect us to remember that we are servants, and that they are our bosses."

Kelly was appointed to the court in 2016 by then-Gov. Scott Walker. He was in private practice in Milwaukee before that.  

Kelly is one of the five conservatives currently on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

"Our job is simply to apply the law as we receive it from legislators. To make sure it is compliant with the constitution," Kelly said. "It's not for us to second guess the wisdom or the applicability or the usefulness of the laws.  We simply apply it as it exists."

Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky and Marquette University Law School professor Ed Fallone have said they will run as well. All three are headed for a February primary. The top two vote-getters will face off on April 7. 

Republicans are worried about that date because that is when Democrats will vote in Wisconsin's 2020 Presidential Primary.  

Kelly said he thinks Republicans will turn out, especially given how Republican voters supported recently elected Justice Brian Hagedorn last April. 

"Wisconsin was really energized by that election," Kelly said. "So the energy has not gone down at all since Brian's election. And that's going to be a significant help. People see that this can be done, and people are energized to help right now."

After the announcement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on a book that Kelly wrote back in 2014 titled  "John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement: Justice as Unfairness."  

The paper says the book questioned the wisdom of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same sex marriage. 

Kelly told WISN radio that if liberals are going to attack his resume or his work before he joined the court, "it must be because I'm doing the job right, because they can't attack me on that."

Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.